Utah RN pay, Salt Lake City area - page 4

by PACNWNURSING

47,160 Views | 45 Comments

Why are the RN salaries lower than other similar sized Western cities? Denver pays more why? Please do not say cost of living, because Intermountain does not take cost of living into consideration when considering salary. Just... Read More


  1. 1
    Quote from ovnerati
    I have lived in Utah my entire life and I am responding to your post.

    I do not believe in any way shape or form that Utahns accept lower nursing salaries because it is "women's work." A statement like that is based on stereotypes and cultural ignorance. Women in Utah are not held back professionally any more than they are in other states. Likewise, for most nurses in Utah their job is NOT "just a part time job or a second income". Seriously??? Nursing is not a flight of fancy for anyone who enters the profession.

    To the best of my knowledge the wages are lower here because the largest chain of hospitals in Utah (IHC) is a not-for-profit organization. The other hospitals and healthcare agencies do base wages on marketplace comparibiliy which.. yes are going to hit up on the IHC salaries since they are the largest health care employer in Utah.

    As for why we accept these lower salaries... Honestly I have felt no need to compare wages against the wages in other states, so on that variable you may be correct. I don't have any intention to move just for a higher salary.

    Frankly, I think paying an inexperienced employee who requires large amounts of additional training more than $21.00 an hour would be ludacris from a business stand point. The money I make as a new nurse here is sufficient for my families needs and I am doing work I love.

    The job market in Utah is tight right now. Its difficult to get on with any of the large hospitals even if you worked for them while going through school, but its still possible to obtain employment as a new grad at the apparently very low going rate. I was able to obtain a job within a month of receiving my license last August.

    Anyone who is willing to spend years in college and accruing massive amounts of debt whether you get your degree in BSN, or ASN deserves a far better salary than $21 an hour for the type of work that an RN has to do. We are not talking about entry level mechanics here. Just because it is sufficient for you to pay your bills and raise your family does not make it so for others who are having a rough time paying off student loans, other debts, raising their family's, and heaven forbid, trying to get ahead just a bit. Yeah, beggars certainly can't be choosers, but the idea that nurses are being paid this amount in UT is an absolute joke. And that is not an opinion. I've been in the piano industry for 10 years with no college education and because of the economy that is no longer. I averaged $30 an hour in this profession, and decided that it was time to go to school. I got my hopes up in nursing because it seemed self-fulfilling and lucrative while providing a service for others that I think is very much needed. If this is the way it will continue to be in the nursing community here in UT than I am much better off sticking to selling. No matter what the product I know i can make the same without the expense of time and money for the next 4 to 5 years of my life. What is up with this so called "nursing shortage" that i read about? If this is the case why am I reading about such a low pay scale? BLS statistics do not correlate at all with what I am reading in these forums. I'm a male, I guess there are not many of us in the profession. Having lived out of state for several years and coming back to UT, I can guarantee you that although it may not be obvoius (because there would be some major lawsuite's if it were), the fact that we live in a state that is definitely more of a "mad men's" world has told me that it certainlly effects the way the industry here is percieved as far as being "womans work". I'm not sure how one could argue with that, and I'm certain that it plays at least a little bit of role in this topic of low pay for nurses in UT.

    I apologize for the lengthy, somewhat confusing response. I'm deciding whether to go for my degree or not, and to be honest, I'm a bit scared to make such a jump if it is going to be this difficult to get a job. So instead of leaving this response as a "rant". I'll end it with this one question. Is there any hope in the next 3 or 4 years for this to change given the new health care plan? Is that going to make things a bit easier for those new grads and nurses looking for work?
    lindarn likes this.
  2. 1
    Quote from PACNWNURSING
    21.80 an hour is not a livable wage to purchase a home, feed, cloth and have money to put away for a family four in Utah. The housing cost in Utah is not cheap. Staying in Utah to make 30,0000 less a year does not make any sense. Just because IHC is a not for profit does not mean they should not be paying nursing wages that reflect the market. I am going back to Washington State to work for a non for profit and will be making a much larger salary with better benefits. The hospital is listed as one of the top 50 hospitals in the country. Not one IHC hospital is listed. IHC is clearly indirectly controlling the nursing salaries in the entire state of Utah. This has been confirmed by many local Utah nurses. So stay, bury your head the salt lake flats and allow nursing salaries to continue to stay way behind the current salary trends in nursing. Nurses in Utah are way too silent. Being a leader in reducing cost does not necessarily mean a better employer for nurses.
    Hi there, I was also thinking of moving up to WA state. Infact, the plan is that I will. I hear that it is a very rough job market up there too. Do you mind sharing with us what that larger pay might be? i am hearing of 23 and 24 hourly rate almost everywhere, east or west. I'm trying to decide if this is a profession I want to get into. I can't live off 21 an hour if I'm going to eventually raise a family etc. I'm 29 years old and not getting any younger. I wish you luck in your move!
    lindarn likes this.
  3. 1
    Quote from everwonder_y
    I'm sorry, but you can not see the forest from the trees. Living in Utah all your life makes you an expert on comparable wages? I think not. Those of us who actually have lived and worked out of state, as well as in Utah, have a better perspective. We're talking about states like Wyoming and Idaho that have a similar cost of living compared to Utah and yet somehow manage to offer better wages than Utah does.

    If you think that $22/hour is a fair wage, you are part of the problem. Seriously. Living on 40k/year after completing a BSN is NOT ideal. Particularly when nurses in other part of the country make far more for the same amount of work. And if a family of 5 is able to live comfortably on 40k/year, they are able to do so by benefiting from tax credits, that many of us who are single or without kids do not benefit from.

    Utah needs a nursing union! (like that would ever happen, hah)
    I agree completely. Why in the hell would anyone want to defend such low pay? Yes, kudos to you Overnati for having the ability to live off such pay. You are among those who are forced to budget so well and have gotten so good at it that you don't realize that you deserve far better. I'm so frustrated that people don't speak up in these forums. It tells me that the reason why things are the way they are is because people are defending the system that is screwing them over! Or they are not saying anything at all. Yeah, Utah's great. Beautiful, lots of friendly people, etc etc. Doesn't mean we need to defend how crappy we are treated. We are better off saving the debt our degrees accrue and getting skilled in a profession that does not require such education if this is the pay we can expect. If it truly is the case, I am sticking in the sales industry at 45 to 50K and going fishing, isntead of working full time and school full time to end up in the same boat... Wait... I forgot.. I got an education!
    lindarn likes this.
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    As much as I love nursing. It is a very difficult and challenging job, and I want to be paid accordingly. I have done nursing and office work living in the life of the cubicle and one hour lunches with little to no stress. Why would I choose to go into nursing if the pay is the same.

    As far as the future of nursing, I believe we are reaching a cross roads. Hospitals are losing millions of dollars in medicaid and medicare reimbursements. Hospitals because of this are now having to lay off people. Which means less support staff for the hospital, which eventually leads to nurses having to do more with less. Nursing salaries and benefits are the largest expense for every hospital. My fear is that the hospitals will reach a breaking point and start reversing salaries and benefits of nurses and begin to shut out all nursing unions. Hospitals are some what in a losing battle they must maintain high standards of care and safety while still maintaining proper staffing levels and educating the staff because of these standards. Complying to all these regulations is expensive and time consuming. Add to the mix all the uninsured care being provided by all the hospitals. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 3-5 years.
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    I'll end it with this one question. Is there any hope in the next 3 or 4 years for this to change given the new health care plan? Is that going to make things a bit easier for those new grads and nurses looking for work?
    Nobody can honestly answer this since nobody can predict where our economy and healthcare industry will be in the next several years. Yes it is a scary jump to make. Honestly, if you feel that you can make a similar or better wage with what you are doing now, then I would say stick with it for the time being. Wait till things are a little more promising and then make your move. Look at PACNWNURSING's last comment and take it into consideration. It is very much the reality here and everywhere else. Another thing to consider. I started my first semester of nursing school 2 years ago, an instructor told us that she was worried for the newest batch of grads they had sent out, but felt confident that things would turn around by the time we would be done and looking for jobs. Unfortunately she was wrong. If anything, I think we have it worse right now.

    Another note, the $21.80 is for new grads at IHC hospitals. I have friends working at LTCs starting at $26+ and recently been told starting wage at the prisons and jails is somewhere between $25-$28, with wages increasing up to (and beyond) $30 after a few years. The LTC wage I feel confident about, but the prison and jail wages are just from second and third-hand sources.
    lindarn likes this.
  6. 0
    "I graduated from Weber State's Associates of Nursing program last winter (2010). I applied to work at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee and got in. I'm working on Vanderbilt's SICU floor right now, but my hopes are that with a year of Vanderbilt ICU under my belt, and with ACLS, PALS and CCRN certifications, maybe I can land a job at an IHC or U of U facility.

    By the way, Tennessee sucks for pay too. I make $19.50/hr."

    Hey! I've always wanted to live in Tennessee. I'm a student at Weber State too but I am going for my Bachelors. Does it make a difference over there? Is the cost of living lower than it is here?
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    Lol, by the way, "Ludacris" is the rapper. "Ludicrous" is the adjective. Made me chuckle.
    NYCRN16 likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from betsyannie
    Hey! I've always wanted to live in Tennessee. I'm a student at Weber State too but I am going for my Bachelors. Does it make a difference over there? Is the cost of living lower than it is here?
    I think the cost of living is pretty similar. As for whether having a BSN versus an ADN results in more pay, it doesn't at Vanderbilt.

    As for this dilemma of poor pay for nurses in Utah, honestly, making $45,000 to $50,000 with an Associate's degree to me is pretty doggone good. Aside from sales, respiratory therapy or dental hygiene, I don't know of many other professions that pay as well with an Associate's degree. It's more money than I've ever made, or probably could have made without getting my RN.

    Also, don't forget to factor in the shift differentials for night and weekend shifts, which can usually mean $3 to $9 dollars more an hour. And there are a lot of options to make more money as an RN. Hospital shift work is usually a starting point for many people. Managers, educators, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists all make much more, obviously. So if you want to make more, it is possible. I know home health nurses can make nearly $60,000 a year.

    Plus, there are additional perks to nursing. The schedule really can't be beat, in my opinion. Work three 12 hour shifts, take the remaining four days off for the week, take the first four days off of the next week then work the last three days of that week. Being able to get 4 to 8 days off in a row without having to use any vacation time is pretty sweet.

    As for being able to feed and clothe a family of 5 or so on an RN's salary, yes, it would be hard. But if you get a few years experience in a hospital, you'll be surprised at the options that can open up to you.

    For me as a single man right now, the pay works fine, and I know that as I keep working and furthering my education, it will get even better. I plan on getting my NP eventually, too. I actually enjoy aspects of being a nurse besides just the pay, too. And if you get burned out on one type of nursing, you really can switch to something else.
  9. 0
    Ladies and gents a little help... so average is around 19.00-21.00 an hour, what about if you get your 4 year bachelor Nursing degree then how much.. I was really looking into this but after seeing how low the average is not sure anymore. I looked up on indeed.com and it stated the average salary of a Nurse in utah was 62k a year. I take it that is not accurate, or am I wrong ladies..?? Reason i'm so shocked is because My GF got a job at the Univeristy of Utah as a Respiratory Therapist at 26.50 an hour. Any advice would help thank you
  10. 1
    Yes average is $21 an hour. Typically no you will not get paid more for having a bachelors degree although I believe that IHC prefers it to increase their "magnet status." (That last part may not be correct). $62,000 a year average is probably correct because nurses start out around $45,000 while veterans are probably up to $75,000 so $62,000 is somewhere in the middle. The pay in Utah is awful. If you love the state that much, people will stay and accept it. I moved 100 miles away out of state and made double that as a new grad. It's all about where you want to live. My plan is to work out of state for a few more years and save up enough money that if I want to move my family back to Utah it will offset the ridiculously low wages.
    lindarn likes this.


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